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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

We welcome Mad*Pow to the Peoples' Republic

I've encountered some of these folks at the many Health IT conferences I've attended throughout the past few years. Nice people, all very bright. They're heavy into UX, a sorely needed area of improvement in the health care space.
Whether we are helping insurers deliver better service to their members, creating experiences to guide patients through their navigation of the system, designing platforms for clinicians to collaborate around care and treatment, or partnering with  a cutting-edge healthcare technology company to bring their vision to life, we have a mission. Deliver real meaning, value, impact and outcomes through the experiences we create.

We understand the healthcare space, the entire space. Not just one facet, but the intricate and complex spectrum that encompasses government agencies, non-profits, insurance companies, hospitals, pharmacies, patients, caregivers, and doctors. We have designed groundbreaking solutions for each area and need present in this ecosystem and it is this experience that gives us the unique ability to see opportunities for engagement and improvement where others only see obstacles.

Our methods are routed in research, grounded in a collaborative approach, and guided by the true empathy we have developed through thousands of interviews with the real humans who sit at the center of this network...
We're now BART neighbors. Glad to see them expanding into California with full time boots on the ground. I wish them the best.

Been studying things related to Dr. Jerome Carter's latest EHR Science post "A Place for Everything Clinical Workflow…" Petri nets, 'eh? (pdf)

Not sure how much traction that is gonna get at the clinic level. There will have to be heavy and continuous clinical end-user understanding and collaboration.


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The year-to-date numbers reveal significant atrophy. What will the new GOP Congress do to what remains, given that most of the MU money has been distributed, and all that largely remain are the reimbursement reduction sanctions?

257K Meaningful Use EPs to Get Medicare Payment Adjustments
Kyle Murphy, PhD | Date December 17, 2014

Over the next few weeks, more than 257,000 provider eligible for the Medicare EHR Incentive Program will receive notice that they will be subject to Medicare payment adjustments beginning in 2015.

Earlier today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revealed the number of eligible professionals who would reductions in their Medicare payments in 2015 for failing to demonstrate meaningful use in previous years...

Physician groups seem to think the latest bad news from CMS may improve their chances of getting changes in the meaningful use program. Roughly half of the eligible providers — 257,000 physicians, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists and podiatrists will have their Medicare payments cut by 1 percent starting next month. CMS said yesterday that it will start alerting providers next week of the penalties. The news could add pressure on the administration to adjust the meaningful use program. While the 257,000 are being penalized for failing to reach Stage 1 of the meaningful use program, Stage 2 seems to be an even steeper climb — only 4 percent of all eligible providers had attested to it by Dec. 1; they have until April to reach the goal but are required to attest for a full year in 2015 or face penalties. The American Medical Association said it was “appalled” by the news. It called for CMS to overhaul the program and align it with the “regulatory tsunami” of other requirements doctors face.

EHRA Opposes Effort to Decertify EHRs Blocking Information Sharing

The Electronic Health Record Association does not support Congress’ call for the decertification of EHR products that block the sharing of health information, a provision included in the fiscal year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill.

While the association supports efforts to reduce barriers to interoperability, such as the roadmap being developed by the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT to advance the use of interoperable health information, EHRA chair Mark Segal tells Health Data Management that the organization believes congressionally-mandated product decertification would have negative effects on the healthcare industry as a whole.

“We do not believe that the concept of decertifying products that met and continue to meet federal interoperability certification criteria, which align with meaningful use requirements, would be an effective solution to the challenges faced by providers tasked with exchanging data,” argues Segal, who is also vice president of government and industry affairs for GE Healthcare IT. “In fact, we believe it would introduce costly uncertainty into the industry and prevent clients using such products from attesting for meaningful use or employing them in other important delivery reform initiatives.”

The FY15 spending bill, which President Obama signed into law on Tuesday, calls on ONC to “take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information because those practices frustrate congressional intent, devalue taxpayer investments in [Certified EHR Technology], and make CEHRT less valuable and more burdensome for eligible hospitals and eligible providers to use.”...
Only one problem. There's no such language in the final bill that passed both houses. The language is contained in a pre-passage markup "bill report" (pdf). There's nothing in the law pertaining to this, so everybody chill out. 

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Someone in Congress may have indeed have been "calling for" it, but the only binding elements are those actually in the law.


Link to their hiring page here.


Just bought another book pertaining to the so-called "Art of Medicine" (topic of my prior post). Looks interesting. Stay tuned.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A PHYSICIAN and patient is truly multidimensional. Dr. Herbert Ho Ping Kong captures this important concept in the opening chapter of The Art of Medicine when he emphasizes the art of seeing, listening, human touch, empathy, advocacy, recognizing suffering and thinking outside the box. Then, in his remarkable style of clinical narrative, Dr. Ho Ping Kong proceeds to interweave patients’ stories with proverb, literary quotation and metaphor to illustrate the relevance of these arts as essential to effective medical practice...

Ho Ping Kong, Dr. Herbert; Posner, Michael (2014-06-01). Art of Medicine, The (Kindle Locations 37-41). ECW Press. Kindle Edition.


My wife and I are off to College Park, Maryland early Friday for our son's graduation from UM with a degree in Operations Management. He's acquitted himself with distinction, all while working at Reagan as a ramp rat with JetBlue. Proud Papa. I'm equally happy that my daughter has just been named Executive Director of the Bay Area Stepping Stones Project.

More to come...

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